The Washington Nationals (25-27) tried to split the series after Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins (28-25) was postponed. The Marlins offense proved to be too much for the Nats, despite a great day by Nate McLouth, as they fell 8-5 after stranding 15 runners.
Both teams made mistakes on the base paths in the first half of the game. For the Nats, Ian Desmond went too far off first base in the second inning on a ball to right center field. Giancarlo Stanton got there and threw it to first, just doubling Desmond off. For the Fish in the fourth, Casey McGehee singled into right field, and while Derek Dietrich stopped at third, Stanton rounded second and was caught in no man’s land.
But the Marlins still piled on four runs in that fourth inning around solid hits by Dietrich, McGehee, Marcell Ozuna, and Adeiny Hechavarria, putting the Nats in a 4-0 hole.
After the rough fourth, Jordan Zimmermann made it through the fifth inning after giving up just one hit, but Matt Williams decided that was the end of his game after just 80 pitches. Ross Detwiler made easy work of the Marlins in the sixth inning.
The Marlins also lost their starter after five innings. Henderson Alvarez was cruising through five innings of five hit baseball before being pulled for precautionary reasons due to some right elbow stiffness.
The Nats offense finally woke up in the sixth after Alvarez’s departure. Adam LaRoche and Wilson Ramos singled and Desmond walked to load the bases with one out. McLouth doubled to drive in two, Danny Espinosa walked, and Denard Span reached on a throwing error that scored one more, and it was a 4-3 deficit just like that
Drew Storen locked down a 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning before Wilson Ramos hit his first home run of the season against Marlins reliever AJ Ramos to tie the game at four.
The Nats had yet another brilliant opportunity in the eighth inning. McLouth, Scott Hairston, and Span all reached to start the inning, making it bases loaded with none out. The Nats two, three, four hitters weren’t able to get the ball out of the infield, and the Nats stranded all three of them.
They had another chance in the ninth after Ramos served one down the right field line, but Stanton came up with it and made an amazing throw to gun him down at second. Kevin Frandsen and McLouth singled to give them the walk-off opportunity, but pinch hitter Greg Dobbs popped out to the first baseman in foul territory to end the inning and send it to extras.
With all the blown opportunities by the Nats over the final four innings of regulation, it was pretty easy to see the tenth inning coming. Ed Lucas led off the inning with a single, and from there, it’s easier to tell you who didn’t reach base. Dietrich laid down a sacrifice bunt, Hechavarria struck out looking, and in Lucas’ second at bat of the inning, he grounded out to the pitcher. In an inning pitched by both Jerry Blevins and Aaron Barrett, the Marlins scored four more runs in the inning, and so went the Nats fate on Wednesday evening.
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)